In our August newsletter, Mindy Popp shared the article below about her recent trip to her hometown, Pittsburgh, and offered advice to families as we start a new school year:

The new school year is just days away, and I often think about the possibilities ahead for our clients’ personal, social and academic growth. I am reminded of how rich school communities are with opportunities to develop meaningful connections with peers and teachers.

Earlier in August, I visited Pittsburgh, my hometown. As a child, I attended a small private day school for kindergarten – 5th grade. From 2nd grade on, there were just 6 students in my class. Teachers and students developed close bonds, and many of us are still in touch today. In the last year, I found my 2nd grade teacher on Facebook and we reconnected. Just a few weeks ago when I was in Pittsburgh, we saw each other for the 1st time since my last day of 2nd grade. Among other stories, Helene shared her memories of my 1st entrepreneurial venture, starting the Where’s The Beef Club where we impersonated Clara Peller (famous for her Wendy’s ads) and drew hamburgers of all shapes and sizes.

We laughed and caught each other up on where life has taken us since my days of drawing hamburgers in the Where’s The Beef Club. The best part of all — it felt like a day had not passed since we last saw each other over 30 years ago.

Before I left for Pittsburgh, I told many of my rising seniors about my plans to reunite with my 2nd grade teacher. My wish for them, and for all my students, is that they too can one day write a story like I am writing now.

As the school year starts, be open to the possibility of friendships developing at any time and place. Make time to work hard at school and to work hard at developing connections in your school community.

Good luck and warm wishes to all of our families as we begin a new school year in the days ahead!

Mindy Popp
Founder & Principal Consultant
Popp & Associates

Mindy Popp and her 2nd grade teacher, Helene Kessler Burke


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